The Arab Uprisings: Book Review Essay

2078 Words Apr 19th, 2013 9 Pages
Budd 1
Liam Budd
POLI 227
TA: Sherif Fouad

The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East

Marc Lynch defines the 2011 Arab uprisings as “an exceptionally rapid, intense, and nearly simultaneous explosions of popular protest across an Arab world united by shared transnational media and bound by a common identity” (Lynch, 9). In his book The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East, he sets out to put the events of the Arab uprising into perspective and to create a guide for the new Middle East. He does so pragmatically and theoretically but dismisses popular theories of international relations as outdated for the new Middle East. Throughout the book, Lynch emphasizes the
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By 2006, authoritarian regimes had reasserted their control, however the protests did reveal
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“unexpected depths of popular resentment and extraordinary competencies to organize and to communicate.” Having examined recent Arab history, Lynch points out that “we should not be overly impressed by the novelty of Arab popular mobilization” (Lynch, 64). Also, the unified Arab media space has always been something that makes the regional dynamics unique. And finally, occasions of widespread mobilization across the region have ended with deeper entrenchment of authoritarian regimes. In chapter 4, Lynch discusses the Arab Spring that occurred from December 2010 through to March 2011, during which the protests developed into a regionwide uprising. The real revolutionary contribution of Tunisia and Egypt “was their rapid and massive diffusion into a regional tidal wave” (Lynch, 68). The close coverage of the uprisings encouraged other movements. Common themes emerged as protesters imitated each other’s tactics and rhetoric and regimes responded similarly, insisting that their countries’ particularities shielded them from the regional malaise. What made these protests different was that they succeeded in driving leaders from power, the traditionally effective authoritarian regime responses backfired, and they framed local acts into a single coherent regional narrative. Following the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions came the battles to claim

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